Jenna Bush Hager Recalls George W. Bush's Poncho Problems at Trump Inauguration: 'You're Going Viral'

The former president went viral at the 2017 swearing-in ceremony when he could be seen wearing a poncho on top of his head

Former President George W. Bush keeps covered under the rain during the inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States
George W. Bush. Photo: Alamy Stock Photo

Jenna Bush Hager is reminiscing about the now-viral incident involving her dad, former President George W. Bush, and a rain poncho during the 2017 inaugural ceremonies of Donald Trump.

During the swearing-in portion of the event, the now 75-year-old Bush went viral when he appeared to struggle with a rain poncho — trying in vain to wear it correctly before eventually just placing the entire plastic poncho atop his head.

"My dad once, when he went to the inauguration, we were like, 'People are going to be paying attention. Don't do anything that people will look at,' " Jenna, 40, recounted on the Today show Tuesday.

Jenna Bush Hager TODAY
Jenna Bush Hager. Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

She continued: "And this is what he did. He couldn't figure out how to work the poncho. And then he put the poncho on his head. He was trying to get the poncho and we were like, 'Why are you doing that?' I don't know why he did that.' "

Jenna's co-host, Hoda Kotb, chimed in, "I remember that!"

Jenna then admitted she didn't remember much else from that day, other than "me saying, 'Don't draw attention to yourself' and then I had to message him like, 'You're going viral.' But he couldn't help it."

In an earlier interview with PEOPLE, the former president spoke about the now-viral moment, saying, "The wind started kicking up and I was afraid my hair was . . . going to go up. But anyways, try to put that baby on."

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Bush made other headlines that day, as well, offering a rather candid response to Trump's ceremony, according to New York Magazine, which cited three sources who overhead the 43rd commander-in-chief sum the day up with: "That was some weird s---."

Bush has spoken out about his unintentional gaffes — and his way of words — before, calling in to his daughter's show last year to talk about his own vocabulary.

"I'm confident there are people who are better wordsmiths than me. I'm the guy that came up with 'strategery,' " he joked at the time, referring to Will Ferrell's famous impersonation of him on Saturday Night Live, in which that word was first coined. "You might want to consult them."

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